Logar candidates concerned at rising insecurity
PUL-I-ALAM (PAN): Candidates for provincial council elections in central Logar province fear voting in some districts is unlikely to take place due to security threats.
They believe elections in some parts could not be conducted if the situation remains unchanged. Even if conducted, the ballot outcome would not be credible, they warned.
“I am very concerned about security because the Taliban, who operate in most parts of the province, can threaten elections,” said Dr. Abdul Wali Wakeel, the incumbent provincial council head.
Also in the run for the April 5 polls, he said voting would be impossible in 80 percent of villages of Kharwar, Charkh, Azra and Baraki Barak districts. There will be problems in the provincial capital, Pul-i-Alam.
A provincial council candidate from Azra district, Wali Khan Samim, said the security situation in Logar was fast deteriorating and holding elections in many parts looked difficult.
He said all roads leading to Azra town had been closed and government’s writ in Kharwar, Charkh and Barak-i-Barak remained confined to government buildings.
He asked security organs to come up with elaborate security plans for the elections and do away with threats.
Another candidate, Haji Shaukat Stanikzai, a resident of Mohammad Agha district, said the insecurity would pave the ground to massive irregularities if not contained until the Election Day.
He said many areas around Pul-i-Alam were insecure and there was no chance of holding transparent elections in four districts.
Besides candidates, residents also fear insecurity will threaten the national process.
Some residents complain awareness programmes on elections had not been effective and the establishment of voter registration centres away from villages in district centres were behind a low turnout.
Fauzia Amin Tahirzada, a candidate and resident of Pul-i-Alam, considered insecurity the main hurdle in the way of elections.
She said if the security environment was not improved, neither candidates would be able to campaign for themselves nor people to participate in the process.
However, officials dismissed the apprehensions as unfounded, insisting Afghan security forces had the ability to protect candidates and voters.
The governor’s spokesman, Din Mohammad Darwish, said the provincial administration was working on a special plan under which candidates would be able to campaign.
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